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On 60th Anniversary, Video Recalls How Rosa Parks’ Arrest Sparked Historic Ruling

The full story of Rosa Parks’ arrest, and how it led to a federal court decision to strike down segregated buses, is the theme of “Ride to Justice,” a new U.S. courts video released on the 60th anniversary of her historic protest.

The video, drawing on interviews with U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson and lawyer Fred Gray, notes that Parks was not the first woman arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white patron. But when Parks’ arrest—on Dec. 1, 1955—sparked a citywide bus boycott, Gray enlisted four previously arrested women to file a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

A yearlong boycott ended after the Supreme Court affirmed in Browder v. Gayle that segregated buses are unconstitutional.

Learn about another historic civil rights case, Brown v. Board of Education and historic civil rights figure, Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Related Topics: Judicial History, Public Education